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Explaining Vampirism- Real, medical or mental?
Transcript of Explaining Vampirism- Real, medical or mental?
Explaining Vampirism: Real, Medical or Mental?
The Myth of Vampirism
Reports of vampirism in Slavic and European countries date back hundreds of years-yet vampires still make the headlines!
Australian man was on trial after a woman was found brutally attacked. Told the victim he was a
needed blood to survive.
: Lyle Monroe Bensley was arrested after breaking into a woman's apartment and biting her neck. Told police that he was a
500 year-old vampire
who needed to feed.
Glimpses- Reports of Vampire Activities
Also known as Renfield's syndrome
Characterized as a blood drinking compulsion
A mental disorder in which person believes that he would obtain power through blood
Usually starts in childhood- a pivotal injury triggers it
Statistically a VERY RARE psychiatric disorder
Clinical Vampirism exists!
case reports of Renfield’s syndrome seem to be of the utmost
Statistics- Renfield Syndrome
Published in The Journal of History of Neurosciences
Of all the myths that survived the test of time and intrigue, it is vampirism- the act of drawing and drinking human blood.
"The image of vampire is omnipotent, and this has been a reality sincethe most early times of history.”
(Markale, 2010, p. 9)
Popular fiction on Vampires
Mention of Vampirism in the Psalms of David
“And save me from these
men. Because they took possession of my live [. . .] They will be back in the
and they will be starving like dogs [. . .] and they have a
on their lips.”
Psalm 58: 3, 4, 7, 8
Twentieth century vampires and their executions
Case studies of Renfield
Richard Chase, the Sacramento Vampire
John George, the London Vampire
Peter Kurten, the Dusseldorf Vampire
Fritz Haarman, the Hannover Vampire
Jensen and Poulsen, 2002
Bergh and Kelly, 1964
Halevy et al, 1989
Hemphill and Zabow, 1983
BEHEADED on April 15, 1945
BEHEADED on July 2, 1931
HANGED on August 10, 1949
SUICIDE December 26, 1980
"The Giaour", Lord Byron
"Dracula", Bram Stoker
German horror film "Nosferatu"
Buffy- the Vampire Slayer
"The Vampire Diaries", L. J. Smith
"The Vampyre", Polidori
"Twilight", Stephanie Meyer
The disorder was named after a character "Renfield" in Bram Stoker's novel- "Dracula"
Renfield was Dracula's assistant and a mentally ill person who was in a lunatic asylum
He consumed flies initially and believed that the act gave him power
Who was Renfield anyway?
Typically follows three stages:
drinking one's own blood
drinking animal blood
procuring and drinking human blood
Stages of Renfield Syndrome
How much of it is real?
Could those men possibly be vampires?
may be everyone's vampire fantasy but the fact remains that real
is actually a rare, twisted disorder that has been affecting some unfortunate individuals throughout history and till the present day.
"Interview with a Vampire", Anne Rice
Explaining Vampirism: Real, medical or mental?
Using stats to crack something as RARE, as intriguing and as mythical as VAMPIRISM.
Major content taken from the paper:
A Psychiatric Illness Drawn from Bram Stoker’s
Renfield’s Syndrome: A Psychiatric Illness Drawn from Bram Stoker’s Dracula